- Fort, Pettah, Slave Island and Maradana among five more Police jurisdictions in Colombo isolated
- Move comes with high numbers of COVID-19 patients detected in Colombo
- From 392 COVID-19 cases identified on Saturday, 205 were detected from Colombo District
By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
The Government has imposed lockdown from today in Fort, Pettah, Maradana, Slave Island, and Dam Street, bringing the total number of isolated Police jurisdictions in the Colombo District to 17.
While lockdown was imposed on these areas at 5 a.m. today, Modara, Mattakkuliya, Grandpass, Dematagoda, Bluemendal, Foreshore, and Kotahena in Colombo North, Borella in Colombo South, Aduruppu Street, Maligawatte, and Keselwatte in Colombo Central as well as Wellampitiya will continue to be isolated areas, Police Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana said
However, since these are prominent business hubs in the country and several essential services are based in these areas, DIG Ajith Rohana said essential services in Maradana, Dam Street, Keselwatte, Pettah, Fort, and Slave Island Police jurisdictions will be permitted to operate.
Institutions under the Board of Investment (BOI) and the Export Development Board (EDB), courts, and essential State institutions in Maradana, Fort, Pettah, Slave Island, Dam Street, and Keselwatte Police Jurisdictions will also be permitted to operate despite lockdown imposed at 5 a.m. today.
“However, if employees of these institutions come to the Fort Railway Station or the Central Bus Station, the organisations must provide transport from these main transport stations to the office premises,” DIG Ajith Rohana added.
According to the Police Spokesperson, public and private transport can travel in and out of Colombo, but cannot make any stops in isolated areas. This applies to the Colombo Fort Railway Station and the Colombo Central Bus Station.
“The emergence of patients from isolated areas is under control to a certain extent,” DIG Ajith Rohana said, stressing that persons in isolated areas must remain at home in order to control the spread of COVID-19 entirely.
The move to isolate several areas in Colombo comes with high numbers of COVID-19 patients detected in the district. From the 392 COVID-19 cases identified on Saturday, 205 were detected from the Colombo District, 40 from Gampaha and 14 from Kalutara.
On 13 November, 468 infected persons were identified, of which 282 were from the Colombo District, 43 from Gampaha, and 10 from Kalutara. On 12 November, 373 persons tested positive for COVID-19, including 271 from Colombo, 46 from Gampaha, and 12 from Kalutara.
The Epidemiology Unit, in a categorisation of cases published on 9 November, identified the Colombo Municipal Council area as a high risk area with a COVID-19 case identified within the previous 14 days.
Other high risk areas in the Colombo District include Boralesgamuwa, Nugegoda, Maharagama, Piliyandala, Battaramulla, Kolonnawa, Dehiwala, Kahathuduwa, Kotte, and Moratuwa.
While several areas in the Gampaha and Kalutara Districts are also classified as high risk areas, the restrictions imposed on exiting the Western Province were lifted at midnight yesterday.
In addition to isolated areas in the Colombo District, seven Police jurisdictions in the Gampaha District are also under lockdown, bringing the total number of isolated areas in the island to 24 Police jurisdictions.
“With the newly isolated areas, 24 Police jurisdictions are under lockdown. To monitor if residents of these areas adhere to movement restrictions and quarantine regulations, the Sri Lanka Police, along with the Sri Lanka Air Force, will carry out operations using helicopters and drones in the next few days as well,” DIG Ajith Rohana said.
He added that 22 persons were arrested during air operations conducted in isolated areas over a two-day period, while a total of 221 persons have been arrested overall for failing to adhere to safety guidelines like social distancing and wearing face masks.
While the 24 Police jurisdictions will remain isolated until further notice, the remaining Police Jurisdictions in the Gampaha District as well as areas in the Kalutara, Kurunegala, and Kegalle Districts will be no longer isolated.
“With regard to the Gampaha District, from the places where lockdown was already imposed, only the Negombo, Ja-Ela, Ragama, Kadawatha, Wattala, and Peliyagoda Police jurisdictions will be isolated further,” National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) Head Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva said. He added that lockdown was imposed at 5 a.m. today in the Kelaniya Police jurisdiction.